I was reunited with these memories the other day when I was scouring my blog for vintage Barb stories and wanted to repost because I miss when Chooch was this age (10 or something who knows ask his mother) and October is always so nostalgic in general (and also my brain is on hiatus so I have nothing new to say but maybe tomorrow I will depending on how many cells regenerate during slumber.
This past weekend was one of those weekends where nothing super major happened, but it was just so pleasant and fulfilling that I want to remember it forever. So walk with me, and I’ll tell you all about it. If you feel a pain in your leg, that’s just me kicking you because you fell asleep.
FIRST, we went to lunch at the Interchange with my mom and brother Ryan. I was really excited because this was the first fall day that was chilly enough to have Henry and Chooch running for their flannels and beanies, and you guys — that’s my favorite version of them! We walked out of the house and I had a strong urge to go on a hayride or stir a cauldron of white privileged male blood under a full moon. TAKE ME, AUTUMNAL EQUINOX.
Anyway, lunch was great! I quit going over to my grandparents’ house near the end of August because I admittedly couldn’t handle it anymore (I was literally losing hair over it, no joke), so I’m glad that I still get to see my mom outside of that situation. And my brother Ryan! I have no idea why we don’t hang out more often, but every time I see him, I’m reminded of how awesome he is. We reminisced about all the haunted houses we went to as kids, and the time I took him and some of his friends to the USS Nightmare when I was 19 and they were all jerky middle schoolers. While we were in line, one of them pulled out a laser pointer and started shining it into the windows of the Marriott we were standing next to, and then some hotel guest picked up his LAMP and started shining it back at us.
“I guess you had to be there,” I said to Henry, who rolled his eyes as usual.
And then my vegetarian kid (holding strong since July with zero pressure applied from me, I swear!) ordered the vegetarian burger which was basically just a portabello mushroom, and told the waitress, “But I don’t want the onions, or the lettuce, or the tomatoes…..or the mushroom.”
“So, you want a bun, basically,” I sighed and told him to pick something else.
“Then I’ll have the veggie hoagie, but I don’t want….” and before he could finish un-ordering every single vegetable that came on it, I interjected and said, “JUST GET THE GRILLED CHEESE.”
So he got the grilled cheese.
Over lunch, I was telling Ryan and Val about how Chooch called Henry from the gifted school because he needed to know where Henry’s ancestors are from because they were doing a project in his multi-cultural elective.
“So Henry told him that he had ancestors from Serbia, but Chooch confused it with Siberia,” I said and everyone laughed except for Henry, who sighed, “Yeah, except that my ancestors are Syrian, not Serbian, so you’re both wrong.”
And then we laughed even harder because LOLOLOL Chooch and I are so ignorant when it comes to Henry.
The rest of the afternoon was, in all honesty, spent listening to the new Dance Gavin Dance record because when I obsess, I obsess HARD.
Later that evening, Lisa picked me up and took me to her friends’ house in Wilkinsburg for their annual Beerstravaganza, which is kind of similar to my pie party, but everyone brings a six-pack or growler of their favorite beer to share and it’s, you know, considerably more drunken. When we got there, Lisa had a moment of panic because she had a whole box of 12 beers and only wanted to bring in the required 6 bottles, but then she was going to look dumb carrying in a half box and OMG what was she going to do. I just stood there, looking at my phone, twirling my hair, spinning in circles like I do, when it occurred to me that she was having some type of crisis, so I casually suggested that she just take out six bottles and replace it with the six bottles I was holding, and then it would just be like, “Oh look, these girls combined their beers into one box of 12. Nothing to see here.”
Lisa kept going on and on about how brilliant I am (le duh) and how she would be able to use my now-empty beer carrier thingie to put her extra 6 beers in so that they wouldn’t be rolling all around the back of her car, and don’t you worry, I took this moment to bask in my ingenuity.
The reality of the situation is that no one would have even noticed if she rolled us with a half-empty box because no one was standing over by the kiddie pools of beer. And also, probably because it wasn’t that big of a deal!
Nevertheless, always happy to be part of the solution!
That was incredibly boring. I GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE, HENRY.
(Henry is everyone. Everyone is Henry.)
I usually get super nervous when I go to a party (which isn’t often because I usually just say no; see: the part about me getting super nervous), but Lisa is like my social crutch. I’m not sure what it is, but anytime I go anywhere with Lisa, the old Erin comes back out. The Erin who hasn’t spent the last 15 years being stifled and put in a corner. So when we were sitting around the bonfire and Lisa said, “I have to go to the bathroom, do you want to come in the house with me?” I was like, “Nah, I’m good right here.
And that’s how I made friends with a girl named Jen (we’re having lunch on Tuesday!) and listened to Rob tell a story about peeing on OJ Simpson when he was a baby!
And I also imprinted on a guy wearing a Civil War jacket and apparently developed a taste for “sour” beers. I DRANK FOUR DIFFERENT BEERS, YOU GUYS! This is monumental. I’m not a beer-person. That’s actually how I was introducing myself to people: “Hi I’m Erin. I’m learning to like beer.” And everyone was super nice to me about it! #babysteps
Lisa came back out at one point and started to say something to me, but I was all, “Shh, I’m trying to listen to Rob’s story” and she was all, “…the fuck is Rob?”
It was a really great night and I’m glad that I went even though I’m unsure of beer and people. Thanks, Lisa!
After nearly a year, Chooch’s piano lessons resumed Sunday morning! His instructor, Cheryl, had temporarily moved to Asheville, NC (SC?) because she enrolled in some massage therapy program. We reallllly missed her and I was actually kind of worried that she was going to end up not coming back and we have to scour the city for a new instructor, and you all know how picky Chooch is. But yay, Cheryl’s back! She lives in Lawrenceville now, so after we dropped Chooch off, Henry and I killed time by strolling along Butler Street, which is his least favorite street in all of the land because hipsters.
Which is why it was so hilarious to me when he tripped TWICE on our walk, the second was so bad that he thought he broke his toe. Oh, god, how I laughed. That’s what happens when you walk with your nose all up in your phone, dumbass!
But yeah, he tripped in front of a whole gaggle of hipsters and they probably all talked about it later at their Dissecting Tame Impala Lyrics Over Cold Brew club.
This was inexplicably stapled to a telephone pole. I’m sure there’s a reason but who cares. IT’S A GREAT READ.
After an hour of leisurely strolling, we went back to Cheryl’s and I was prepared for her to say, “Hey, I could totally tell that this kid hasn’t plugged in his keyboard since his last lesson with me in 2015” because he totally hasn’t, that lazy bastard. But because it’s CHOOCH, GOLDEN CHOOCH, she was all, “Somehow, I think he’s gotten even better!?” and proceeded to praise his “natural ability” while Chooch stood smugly at her side.
Ugh, I’m so jealous of my own kid.
But seeing Cheryl again was a huge upside to the weekend!
After lessons, we went to lunch at the Abbey, which is across from the Allegheny Cemetery and used to be a funeral home, so basically, a sanctuary for Erin R. Kelly.
My favorite part though wasn’t even the food. We had just walked inside and the hostess asked Henry how many he had in his party. Right when he said three—and I swear this wasn’t planned—Chooch and I casually popped out from behind him.
The hostess started cracking up.
“Oh my god, I don’t know how you guys did that, but it was awesome!”
I’ll tell you how: it’s because Chooch and I are like Henry’s lemmings. We walk so close behind him that if he stops abruptly, we cause a complete human pile-up, like a G-rated Human Centipede. This is why he hates grocery shopping with us because anytime he turns around, he runs right into us and then loses his mind over it.
I can only imagine how circus-y it must have looked from the hostess’s vantage. MAYBE THIS SHOULD BE OUR NEW SIGNATURE ENTRANCE. Chooch and I can wear sequined gloves and pop out from behind Henry with jazz hands and deranged clown-smiles.
I’m into this.
We all got the brunch buffet (actually, Henry assumed this was what I wanted and ordered it for me when I wasn’t paying attention, but whatever). It was fine. I’m not a huge fan of buffets to begin with but the ambiance of the Abbey and the fact that the hostess saw us for the bright, shining stars that we are was enough to keep me from cyber-bullying them on social media.
Henry and I took longer at the buffet than Chooch did (because I require so much assistance), and when we rejoined him at the table, he was lazily sipping on OJ that he ordered on his own because he doesn’t need parents, and I don’t know why, but this image made me lose it. He just shrugged and took another sip.
Interestingly, one of the items on the buffet was vegetarian sausage gravy and biscuits which was amazing timing because at the bonfire the night before, they had real sausage gravy and biscuits which I could not partake in obviously so I just ate biscuits instead while wishing there was meatless gravy.
(OMG I forgot to mention that someone had made some BOMB PUMPKIN PIE OMG TAKE ME BACK.
(I had to get Lisa to cut me a slice though, because knives.)
During my second and final trip to the buffet (these things are huge wastes of money for me), Andy Gibb’s “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” was playing overhead. Behind me, a man said (to his friend, not to me, shockingly), “I love this song, but I don’t know who sings it.”
Before Henry had a chance to clamp down on my arm, I whipped my head around and yelled, “Andy Gibb!” in such a way that it sounded like I was in a race to be the first say it.
Which, I was.
His friend laughed, and said, “Yep, it is” and then Henry stuffed me back under his thumb. He hates it so much when I butt into the conversations of strangers with ALL OF THE ANSWERS.
I can’t help it. If people are talking about music, my dog-ears activate.
LATER THAT AFTERNOON:
We had just returned from a disappointing visit to Dave’s Music Mine, who did not have the new Balance and Composure on vinyl. I was standing around idly in the driveway while Henry cleaned out the car and as I went to walk away, he tried to give me some garbage to take with me.
“Take that with you!” he yelled as I let it fall to the ground.
“Nope!” I yelled back as I pranced toward the house. (Really, I pranced just to accentuate the fact that I’m too much of a princess to TAKE GARBAGE* INTO THE HOUSE.)
“TAKE IT WITH YOU!” he cried again.
“I don’t want to!” I yelled back, and then I noticed a guy walking down the sidewalk, laughing at us. You’re welcome for the free show, I guess.
*(Actually, it was the sign I made for the pie party — I didn’t want to carry that shit!)
The end. Classic sign-off. Killing this blog game.